Roberto Ongpin denies giving Binay kickbacks from Alphaland-BSP land deal
Video by Cathy Miranda/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines—Businessman Roberto Ongpin cleared Vice President Jejomar Binay from allegations that he received millions of pesos of “kickbacks” from a land deal between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and Alphaland Corp.
Ongpin, owner of Alphaland, denied former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado’s allegation that the five percent share of BSP from the project went to Binay, its longtime president.
Mercado, who signed a joint venture agreement between the BSP and Alphaland for the development of a prime property in Makati, told the past hearings of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that the 15-percent share of the BSP from the project was only on paper and “that the five percent was for campaign funds of Binay.
But Ongpin, who first appeared before the subcommittee on Wednesday, said the five percent Mercado was referring to was the “carried interest” that he gave to Alphaland president, Mario Oreta, just to convince him to be part of his company.
“At that time, Babes (Oreta) was happy with his law practice and contracting business and was not particularly eager to join Alphaland. Thus, I had to incentivize him by agreeing to make him not only a salaried employee but also a real partner by giving him a carried equity interest in the projects he would identify and close for Alphaland,” he said in his opening statement.
“Among the first projects that Babes delivered to Alphaland for development was the property of the Boy Scouts located at Malugay Street corner Ayala Avenue Extension in Makati City. For that project, I agreed to give 5 to babes as his carried interest in the project,” he added.
Asked later by subcommittee chairman Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III about the significance of his statement in the ongoing investigation on the issue, Ongpin said: “It’s important because it was referred to by Mr. Mercado. He blissfuly assumes that the 5 percent that I gave to Mr. Oreta was given or delivered to the Vice President.”
“This is completely nonsense,” he further said.
Ongpin said the agreed share of the BSP was only 15 percent of the P5-billion project.
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